Works / Aboriginal Art Collectible / Mountain Devil Lizard

Mountain Devil Lizard 2012 by Jive Art

Mountain Devil Lizard

Kathleen Petyarre

Acrylic on Belgian Linen

91 x 91 cm


The Mountain Devil Lizard is not only unique in its physical appearance but has a deep Aboriginal spirituality as it is the ancestral totem for the famous sisters. They inherited the Mountain Devil Lizard (Arnkerrth) from their paternal grandmother and are the custodians of this significant Dreaming. It is their obligation to maintain this Aboriginal Dreamtime story and pass it on to future generations.

The Lizard is one of many animal totems of the Australian Aboriginal people and is represented in Aboriginal art and paintings, as well as ancestral rock paintings and bark art.  Lizard species are still a substantial part of the Central Australian Aboriginal people's diet and are depicted in Bush Tucker paintings as an Aboriginal food source.  This is a predominant Aboriginal Dreamtime Story which tells of the Old Woman Mountain Devil Lizard who travelled the vast regions of the Atnangker country defining the landscape and identifying the sacred sites. The defined lines branching from the centre of the artwork explains as follows:

  1. The left hand top corner- depicts the Dreaming track of the Arnkerrth, as she performs her dance.
  2. The right hand top corner- refers to track the men continue on towards Tennant Creek and the Emu Dreaming. Half way along this track is the stopping point for women.
  3. The bottom right hand corner- depicts the track to the Yam Dreaming, Alhalker country.
  4. The shape depicts the Rockhole, important Dreaming country for Arnkerrth.

Learn more about Kathleen Petyarre.